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850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

jcrb Search for me but not for thee (207 comments)

Oh sure they have a wonderful system for searching what they want to search and can't be troubled to search what they should be able to but don't want to..
"Department of Justice attorneys for the Internal Revenue Service told Judicial Watch on Friday that Lois Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The Obama administration attorneys said that this back-up system would be too onerous to search. "

The saying "Laws are for the little people" used to be funny, now, not so much.

about a month ago

Ryan Lackey, Marc Rogers Reveal Inexpensive Tor Router Project At Def Con

jcrb There is an upside to this (38 comments)

Getting lots of people running Tor even if they don't need to, even if the implementation may not be the "best" possible, for various definitions of best, is that it dilutes the number of users using Tor for "bad" things.

I don't know what the percent of users of Tor are using it for the standard list of things the government needs to save us from, but you know that eventually the argument will get made, which owing to the nature of Tor will be almost impossible to disprove, that basically everyone using it is doing something illegal and thus running a node makes you an accomplice, and using Tor is probable cause for the government to come and search your stuff.

If that argument has not already been made in court you know it is only a matter of time before it is.

about a month ago

San Jose Police Apologize For Hiding Drone Program, Halts Until Further Review

jcrb Not an apology (59 comments)

They make no mention of having been clearly non-responsive to the FOI request. The FOI asked for "Acquisition documents" that they hadn't got one yet doesn't get them out from having been trying to get one. And the excuse of "well we didn't know what the other department was doing" fails, the whole point of a FOI request is for them to find out of someone has the documents in any of their departments. The real problem is that these FOI laws lack meaningful penalties for failure to properly respond so no one ever does.

about a month and a half ago

Train Derailment Dumps Two 737 Fuselages Into Clark Fork River

jcrb Re:How did this get modded up (187 comments)

You can't prove a negative

It's called proof by contradiction.

No you have it backwards, proof by contradiction is a method of showing something is true by showing that if it were false it would be a contradiction with something known to be true. An example in this case would be to say,

"assume there are purple unicorns, that would imply through a chain of logic that there can not be pink spotted elephants, since we know that pink spotted elephants do exist then purple unicorns can not exist, QED"

since you are likely to have difficulty finding a contradiction that results by assuming that purple unicorns do exist this method of proof it unlikely to helpful in this case.

about 2 months ago

Train Derailment Dumps Two 737 Fuselages Into Clark Fork River

jcrb Re:Warranty (187 comments)

What the fuck?

The illegibility that you find so shocking would seem to come from the terminal the poster is using (based on their previous comments) the content would seem to come from the fact that all they appear to want to do is assert that various political view points are bad along with those who hold them regardless of how relevant it might be to the discussion at hand.

Or their views on the world may just be the result of living in Seattle and not having sex for 20 years, can't tell which is the cause and which is the effect.

about 2 months ago

The World's Worst Planes: Aircraft Designs That Failed

jcrb Re:Does not matter (209 comments)

Yes this is how we advance the state of the art.
Among my favorite engineering maxims are;

Experience is directly proportional to the amount of equipment ruined


Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.

about 4 months ago

$30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow

jcrb They only had no idea because they didn't look (653 comments)

If you go to the USPTO trademark search and put in "multimeter and yellow" the FIRST result is a Fluke yellow multimeter.

If you are in the business of making multimeters and claim you have never heard of Fluke or seen one you are clearly full of it.

Company caught clearly knocking off other company's product tries to play the "trademark laws is bad, boo hoo" card.

Not impressed

about 6 months ago

Through a Face Scanner Darkly

jcrb Buy stock in cap and sunglass companies (336 comments)

Soon everyone is going to want to look like a movie start hiding from the paparazzi.

Ski masks, they're not just for bank robbers any more..

about 8 months ago

Now On Video: GCHQ Destroying Laptop Full of Snowden Disclosures

jcrb Re:Wasn't this a movie? (237 comments)

No you misunderstand the nature of recovering data from a HDD. It s not that the data from the 49th overwrite could be recovered, it is that the data from the 1st write might be recoverable. How is it that the data from the 1st write could be recovered but the data from the most recent couldn't be? Because if the 1st write sits for a long time then 1 that was written to the drive when over written by a 0 becomes not a 0 but a 0.1 or the 0 overwritten by a 1 becomes a 0.9 not a 1. so while the drive itself is not going to be able to recover anything if you just write 0's to the whole drive, someone with better equipment that is prepared to read the drive over and over may be able to sift out the 0's and the 0.1's as if they were 0's and 1's. So by randomly writing 0s and 1s back and forth you give all the bits a randomized amount of magnetism and make it unrecoverable.

So if the disk had one set of data stored on it for an extended period of time and then you wrote a new set of data there would be a period of time where you could 0 the drive and potentially recover the first set of data, so at most you could say the drive contains somewhat less than 2X its rated capacity, with great difficulty.

about 8 months ago

Meet the MOSS Modular Robots (Video)

jcrb Re:Think of the children!!!!! (22 comments)

In the words of a famous rooster...

  "That's a joke, ah say, that's a joke, son."

about 8 months ago

Meet the MOSS Modular Robots (Video)

jcrb Think of the children!!!!! (22 comments)

I'm sure the government will step in and protect us from these products just as they did with Buckyballs.

Buckyballs were sold as adult office toys and the Consumer Product Safety Commission still felt the need to save the children from swallowing the ball magnets. Given that these say they are for ages 8 and up I don't think they stand a chance... which is sad because they certainly look like they could be a lot of fun.

Clearly what they need to do is include an "Emergency Extraction Super Magnet Rescue Tool" (that is too big to swallow) with each set along with a DVD copy of the movie Fortress, and print "Rescue Tool Instructional Video" on the DVD, and then they should be good to go.

about 8 months ago

Congressmen Say Clapper Lied To Congress, Ask Obama To Remove Him

jcrb Sadly (383 comments)

It's not a "lie" if they aren't convicted, and even then for most people it will still be a "misstatement".

The win at all costs nature that American politics have turned into as of late have made seeing just how blatant a lie you can get away with part of the game rather than something to be avoided.

Asking nicely for his removal will accomplish nothing at all. Either go for conviction or don't bother. Saying "he's not nice and we don't like him anymore" is not going do anything other than cause the administration to chuckle.

about 8 months ago

Bletchley Park's Bitter Dispute Over Its Future

jcrb Re:"Modernizing" museums is a blight on the world (99 comments)

Since University in 1992 I have been going to the science museum 4-5 times a year..

In that time they have closed;


let me say no more... Dumbing down or poor curation ?


about 8 months ago

Bletchley Park's Bitter Dispute Over Its Future

jcrb "Modernizing" museums is a blight on the world (99 comments)

One of my most favorite museums in the world used to be the Science Museum in London, then I visited it and discovered the steam engine in the entrance doesn't run, the ship model gallery has been sent to storage never to be seen again to be replaced with a gift shop, I couldn't find the working Babbage engine section, in fact basically every display I wanted to see was gone and replaced by junk.

These so called "modernized" displays are nothing better than what you could read online, I want to go to a museum to see *actual* history, not to see a cartoon representation of a simplified version of history that assumes I am a moron.

I think the curators of science/technology museums need to view themselves in the same way as curators of art museums do, their purpose is to display the "art" not to tell me about the art with pretty cartoons after they ship the art to the storage warehouse.

about 8 months ago

Justine Sacco, Internet Justice, and the Dangers of a Righteous Mob

jcrb Re:Why so much butthurt? (399 comments)

Can't imagine what makes you think I am British.

You presume I have no personal experience, you believe that because you have been in prison that your experience speaks to the behavior of the average convict, yet you even admit that they behave better inside than outside and yet it is the out side we talk about.

As for giving a mother advice on child birth without being female, You do know that the vast majority of OBGYN doctors are male right? So the vast majority of women who give birth do so with the advice of men.

I thank you for a wonderful post demonstrating the danger of observational bias in forming peoples belief systems.

about 9 months ago

Justine Sacco, Internet Justice, and the Dangers of a Righteous Mob

jcrb Re:Why so much butthurt? (399 comments)

This is daft, the hardened prison inmate is almost 100% certain to view you as prey and to happily exploit your trust. Your understanding of people is simply backward, the convict *will* fuck with you if he wants to, you need not "give him a reason to". Your average church goer on the other hand almost certainly needs to be given a reason to care about you. You may not find acceptable the things that would cause the church goer to take an interest in you. But if you believe that as long as you do nothing to attract their attention you are safe from the average convict you are dangerously deluded.

about 9 months ago

Stealing Silicon Valley

jcrb So I had breakfast with Steve Stasiukonis once.... (139 comments)

Just happened to be staying in the same hotel and I don't recall what started us off but some how we struck up a conversation and he wound up telling me some great stories.

The story about the guy in the FexEx box is even better than the article makes out. Since they couldn't actually ship a person via FedEx for many reasons, the box had to seem to come from the right location which would have meant putting it on a plane, and what not. So to make it all look right Steve got himself a real FedEx uniform and put FexEx stickers on the side of a van and even had one of those scanner guns the delivery people used and pretended to be a FedEx delivery person in order to drop off their "package". As I recall he even picked up all their out going FexEx packages and dropped them off at the local FedEx center to fully make the deception work.

It was one of my more interesting random conversations, at some point they should write a book about this stuff, he had lots more stories than just this one. But yeah basically if someone really wants to get inside your building and steal your stuff badly enough they will.

about a year ago

Stealing Silicon Valley

jcrb Re:strange article (139 comments)

Yes you need physical security, to prevent the guy in the FedEx box replacing your keyboard with one with a hardware key logger. And planting a transmitter inside your machine to send out the data wirelessly once it has your encryption passwords.

about a year ago

ByteLight Unveils NFC Alternative Called Light Field Communication

jcrb Re:Hello? Security? (75 comments)

If history teaches anything it is that just because an insecure protocol should not be used does not mean it will not be used.

If anything since "insecure ~= simpler than a secure protocol" it almost insures it will be used.

about a year ago



What happens when they steal movies from me?

jcrb jcrb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jcrb writes "So after years of resisting any sort of e-book or other such online DRM encumbered practice I decide to join all the other people I see happily watching movies next to me on the plane. And in my second attempt the experience is even worse than I had though it could be.

I rented a movie from the Android market, pined it and downloaded it to my tablet, and then *poof* one day it was gone like it never was there. A movie I had watched that had the 24 hour period on it still showed up as having 20 days remaining, but the movie I didn't watch, was gone. AND it was gone from my market purchase history too, because the rights owner had pulled it from the market place without warning it was taken away from me with no notice.

And here is the kicker, while they deleted even the record of my purchase from my market place account, I had to ask for a refund to get my money back.

So how many peoples money have they kept who didn't notice this, or don't realize they have to ask for a refund, particularly given that it says they don't give refunds and you have to go a few levels deep before you come to the place where you can find a button for a refund.

The movie was The Adjustment Bureau, which looked interesting, but now that they have said they don't want my money I'm sure as heck not going to buy it when they put it back on the market place."

Life imitates art?

jcrb jcrb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jcrb writes "If this missile isn't ours, then someone is launching ICBMs *from* our waters, thinking of all the movies based around provoking war between the superpowers by similar scams, "You Only Live Twice", "Buckaroo Banzai", etc I hope this isn't a case of life imitating art"
Link to Original Source


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